Thursday, March 29, 2012
GALAXY: Donovan uncertain vs. Revs
By Scott French
CARSON -- Landon Donovan missed training again Thursday, and Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena acknowledged afterward his captain could miss this weekend's game against New England because of a quadriceps strain.
Donovan also skipped sessions Monday and Tuesday after last training on Saturday. The Galaxy were off Wednesday.
“We've kept him out,” Arena said after Thursday's practice at Home Depot Center. “He's got some nagging injuries. Since he's come back, he's had a bunch, and we've kept him out of training trying to get him at 100 percent.”
Arena called the primary injury a “minor strain” and said “it's always possible” that it could sideline Donovan for Saturday night's game at Home Depot Center. “That's been the case over the last two, three games, but we want to be smart and make sure we get him right.”
Donovan played the full 90 in all four Galaxy games to start the season and seemed at full strength in the March 18 victory over D.C. United, following a lengthy bout with flu and bronchitis. He dealt with several injuries last season, including a quad strain that affected his play over the final three months.
“He's got a slight problem, but it's not a big issue,” David Beckham said. “We have to be careful with players and little niggles they pick up. He'll be fine.”
Asked is he expected Donovan to play, Beckham said: “I don't know. I've spoke to him a couple of times. It's just precaution that he's pulling out of training for. If he's not all right, we've got players who will step in and do the job, but, obviously, his health is the most important part.”
The Galaxy had Paolo Cardozo in Donovan's spot on the right flank in a full-field intrasquad exercise Thursday. Marcelo Sarvas was on the left wing, in place of Mike Magee, who trained partially but was held out of the full-field scrimmage because, Arena said, his situation is “kind of similar to Landon.”
Does Arena expect Magee to be available?
“I'll know tomorrow,” the coach said. “He's likely, I would say.”
STEPHENS BACK: Midfielder Michael Stephens was back in training, just three days after he and the U.S. under-23 team were ousted in qualifying for a berth in this summer's London Olympics.
The former UCLA star, who had just come onto the field when El Salvador's Jaime Alas scored the 95th-minute heartbreaker, said it was “by a large margin” the biggest disappointment he'd experienced in his career.
“That was an opportunity I'll never get again,” he said. “I think I speak for all the players: We were really disappointed in ourselves, and we let a lot of people down.”
Stephens hopes to use the experience to become a better player.
“You've got to use it as motivation,” he said. “It's a long season, and if you can keep that to fuel you through this long year, I think that can definitely work as a positive.”
Beckham, who is expected to captain the unified Great Britain men's soccer team at the Olympics, said he was disappointed with the result, that he “would have liked to play against the U.S. if I'm involved with the GB team.”
He watched some of the game -- “I was trying to put four kids in bed,” he said -- and noted that he “thought it was all sewn up, but, obviously, 95th minute is a tough one to concede.”
WORTH NOTING: Stephens said his teammates were supportive when he returned, but “I hear some of the Kiwis gave me a little business because their guys had qualified.” L.A. has two “Kiwis,” or New Zealanders: defender Andrew Boyens and midfielder Dan Keat. … Boyens has teamed with A.J. DeLaGarza in central defense with the first team in training this week. … British tabloid The Sun reports that Beckham is selling his fleet of luxury cars and motorcycles, valued at about $800,000. The newspaper says the sale of two Bentleys, a BMW 645, a Range Rover Sport, a Lamborghini Gallardo and three Harley-Davidson motorcycles are related to reported plans to sell his $28 million Beckingham Palace home in England and a French villa worth $4 million as they cement Southern California their home base.